Content Curation

I read Curation by Joyce Valenza, as an overview of curation, and Why Should We Teach Content Curation Skills? as well Developing Digital Literacy Through Content Curation. These are more focused on what curation is, and on curation as a skill for students. I think content curation is a key skill to teach students. These platforms make its easier for students to organize web sources, and to add a short description, or keep track of their research.

With internet research, there are so many sources of information available at our fingertips, but it is critical that students, and adults, learn how to sift through and process that information.  Content curation seems to me to be an intermediate steps, similar to taking notes on note cards and then organizing the note cards.   Content curation involves looking at the available sources, choosing the best resources, organizing them, and possibly summarizing or annotating.

For students this could be a final product, or an intermediate step in a research process, or even a modification.  Perhaps some students could create a research paper, while others create a Pinterest board or other set of curated links with a short summary or explanation.

As a teacher, we constantly curate content when we choose to give our students resources (diagrams, readings, websites) to use for a class assignment. However, these curation tools allow us better ways to present these resources to our students, and perhaps to walk them through a sequence of lessons.

I decided that I was going to make a collection of AP Environmental Science review resources, as the time for AP Review is approaching, and I want my students to have some resources to use on their own to review the areas that they determine they need the most work on.

I have already used Pinterest quite a bit personally, and I wanted to use a new resource. However, after spending a lot of time trying out some of the other resources. I returned to Pinterest.  Still new, I guess, since I have never used it in this way.   Here is a brief summary of some of the other resources that I tried:

  • I like the ability to annotate and tag, but I couldn’t put the resources in any order, or put any thing except links (images, documents, etc).
  • I was having a hard time understanding how students would know what the links are. It just made a “board” but no descriptions or annotations that I could find.
  • Educlips: had potential, but I just didn’t find it user friendly; seemed to have a large learning curve.  I might explore this in the future.

I decided that the features that I was looking for are as follows (and I could do almost all of those in Pinterest):

  • Ability to add different types of items (pictures, google docs, links, etc)
  • Not blocked at school
  • Ability to organize those (can sort into boards and sequence the boards; can NOT sequence pins on the board)
  • Ability to annotate or describe what each item is.
  • Bonuses:
    • can embed in a website without needing a separate login
    • includes a picture or icon for each resource.

I created a few Pinterest boards.  One is general AP Environmental Science Review (overview and mixed topics).  Then I plan to create a board for each unit with key resources and links.  I only did one as an example (shown below).

I will share these with my students as we get closer to the exam. I have not decided yet if I will allow them to add resources to the boards. I think I may, so that we build a set of review resources.  These could also be shared professionally with other AP Env. Science teachers/classes.

Alternatively, I could ask students to create their own board (perhaps jigsaw one per unit).

I’m looking forward to seeing how it works out later in the year!



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